No Early Christmas Present

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system did not shoot down a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean during a scheduled intercept test Wednesday, the Missile Defense Agency announced. The intermediate-range target missile successfully flew from the Kwajalein Atoll in the western Pacific and the ground-based interceptor missile successfully fired from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and deployed its kill vehicle for the hoped-for collision with the target missile in space. And all sensors, including the sea-based X-band radar system, performed as planned, stated MDA. Still the intercept did not occur. MDA said it will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the intercept failure. Officials will determine the timeline of the next test after they have identified the cause.